Update from ITPNZ
It's been a busy week or two at ITP, with a really strong focus on skills development and especially SFIA. At a personal level, following two months of fairly constant domestic and international travel I must admit I'm very happy to be back in the office for a while!
Beijing workshop looking at Asia-Pacific Skills Recognition
As mentioned last week, I attended a workshop over the last few days in Beijing China, focusing on developing a "skills card" based on SFIA for the Asia Pacific region, as a project of the South East Asian Regional Computer Consortium and via APEC.
For those who don't know, APEC stands for Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation and is a grouping of 21 economies interested in economic development in the wider Asia Pacific region. The full list of participant economies is here.
The workshop was attended by representatives from professional bodies and equivalents in many of the powerhouse economies involved in APEC, such as Australia, Malaysia, South Korea and China (mainland, as well as Taiwan), as well as others with a significant interest such as India and Sri Lanka.
The proposal was to embark on a project with two effective components:
- Endorsement and consensus, through APEC, of a primary common IT skills framework for the region's economies (likely SFIA, or based on SFIA - although that's TBD)
- Development of a cross-recognition "IT skills card" between economies, to enable better portability of skills. Again the details are still to be determined, but it's likely that, if implemented, this would be related to certifications such as CITPNZ and CTech and provide greater recognition across APEC economies including Australia, the USA, Japan, Canada, China etc.
The first part doesn't necessarily mean all Governments and others within APEC economies would adopt SFIA (if that's the final framework selected), however would mean that other frameworks in use in some economies would be mapped to the primary framework to ensure a common language across the region.
Following detailed consideration, the workshop formally endorsed the draft project plan and gave the go-ahead for SEARCC to continue to the next page, including fleshing out some of the details and formalising the link to APEC.
ITPNZ will be participating in the project on behalf of New Zealand, including via an Advisory Board being established. Let me know if you have a strong interest in this area and would like to be considered for the Advisory Board once the Terms of Reference have been developed.
Want to help develop the profession?
Want to contribute to the development of the profession in your region or nationally?
Next week we'll be opening nominations for positions on Branch Committees and the National Board of IT Professionals New Zealand. We're very lucky to have around 60 individuals nationwide serving on Branch Committees and our Board, and it's a great way to "give back" and help make a difference to the profession.
Our boards and committees are diverse, including in terms of backgrounds and experience. If you care about the development of the profession and want to pull up sleeves and help, please do consider getting involved.
Look out for more information in your inbox on Wednesday of next week.
Digital Skills Forum focusing on SFIA
The Digital Skills Forum, a grouping of the main tech bodies and most agencies of Government with an interest in skills development, met again this week to look at progress towards various initiatives. I also participated in related smaller meetings looking at specific project areas of the Forum and working groups.
As previously noted, following a very comprehensive review the Forum formally endorsed SFIA as the most appropriate framework for use across Government and Industry for the analysis, recognition and development of IT-related skills.
Much of the discussion this week was about how industry and Government could work together to provide resources and tools for agencies, companies, individuals and teams to implement and make the most of SFIA.
Those attending the ITPNZ updates from President Mike Dennehy and I last month will know that we're looking at providing a SFIA self-assessment tool for members over the next 12-18 months. Alongside this, the Forum as a whole are looking at what guidance and tools can be made available to make broader adoption easier.
Want to know more about SFIA?
If you haven't already registered, our next National Series event kicks off next week looking specifically at SFIA, and how it was implemented at Orion Health, Wynyard Group, and within other tech teams.
SFIA is the world's leading tech skills competency framework and helps teams get a really strong feel for the skills and competencies of staff, what's needed for projects, and how to develop professionals (individually and as a team) to meet project needs into the future.
Xero's Gareth Cronin (previously from Orion, Wynyard, Air New Zealand and others) is travelling to Dunedin, Christchurch, Wellington, Auckland, Nelson, Hamilton and Tauranga to talk about a really interesting case study on SFIA.
The event is free for ITP members and inexpensive for others - register here.
Talking WannaCry's NSA links on RNZ New Technology
And lastly, I talked about the WannaCry ransomware in detail, and especially its links to the NSA, on the regular New Technology segment on Radio NZ yesterday.
As well as talking about how it works and spreads, I also discussed how the NSA appears to have known about the vulnerability for a long time and chose to exploit it rather than informing Microsoft (and how this decision significantly contributed to the issues faced worldwide over the last week).
We also briefly discussed new technology that went live last week for 111 calls, allowing for emergency operators to automatically, and almost instantly, gain location information from smartphones when you make an emergency call in New Zealand.
You can listen to the whole segment here.
Paul Matthews is chief executive of IT Professionals New Zealand.
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